The Great Officers of the Crown
were the most important officer
of state of the royal court in France
during the Ancien Régime
and Bourbon Restoration
. They were appointed by the King of France
, and the appointments were for life (except for Chancellor), and were not transmissible or hereditary. A similar list, called the Grand Dignitaries of the Empire
at the Imperial court of France was made by Napoleon I
with these positions being, usually, an honorific.
In 1224, Louis VIII
legislated that the Great Officers participate – alongside the peers of France
– in trials of members of the peers.
The military titles – such as the Marshals of France, the Grand Master of Artillery, or the Colonel Generals – were offices granted to individuals and not military ranks.
In the hierarchical order established by Henry III
in 1582, the Great Officers of the Crown of France were:
- Grand Constable (connétable), the First Officer of the Crown and commander of the French army. The position was suppressed in 1626.
- Lord Chancellor (Chancelier), ran the judicial system. The chancellor was assisted in his tasks by the Keeper of the Seals.
- High Steward (Grand maître), head of the King's Household (or "Maison du Roi").
- Grand Chamberlain (Grand chambellan), in charge of the king's chamber, with additional duties.
- Grand Admiral (Amiral de France), head of the French Navy.
- Marshal-General (Maréchal général des camps et armées du roi) was a......